Monday, July 27, 2015

Writers at Play

Jules Bennett and Joanne at RWA 15
I just returned from RWA in NYC and am late posting today because I’m so happily exhausted from five days of visiting with writers, readers and publishing professionals who come together each year because of a shared love of books.  

Highlights included a margarita date with Harlequin author Tanya Michaels, a long standing tradition. I don’t see Tanya all year except at this conference, but we’ve been catching up over tequila once a year for over a decade. I have warned her that we don’t dare break the streak now or our careers may fall apart. Call me superstitious, but I respect a good streak!

I had breakfast with Winnie Griggs, an author friend I met in the days when I lived in Shreveport. I love Winnie’s books and quirky characters and I’m always impressed at her smarts about writing and our industry. If I want to know something about the romance business, asking Winnie provides better answers than Google.

Another breakfast gave me the chance to sit with new author Jennifer Snow, a Harlequin Heartwarming author quickly branching out with stories set in the MMA world. I was lucky to meet her through my sister-in-law, Karen Rock, who also writes for Heartwarming. I talked to Jennifer so long she was probably lucky to make it in time to sign books at the Harlequin signing.

This year also gave me the chance to meet several new-to-me Harlequin Desire authors since I will be writing some books for the series in 2016. Andrea Laurence and Sarah Anderson kept me laughing over dinner one night and Olivia Gates – who entranced me years ago by bringing homemade baklava to a book signing—dazzled me with her beautiful gowns and gorgeous accent. I thought I was happy to dress more casually at the conference until I spotted Olivia, who always looks like she must be royalty. I made a note to indulge myself in more lace and bangles in the future.

But my one surprise NY moment was spotting an NHL player on 45th Street. I was walking to dinner one evening with friends when I spotted Jordan Staal in town. As a dedicated hockey fan, I nearly fainted to see this handsome player in real life. I hand it to him for remaining so composed while I squealed from the other side of the street. I sense more hockey player stories in my future.

***Have any celebrity sightings to share? Any favorite yearly traditions with friends like my margarita dinner? Share with me today on the boards and I’ll give one random poster a gorgeous new Runaway Brides tote or a copy of my new release, THE PLEASURE TRIP!


Catherine Maguire said...

I once saw Mark Masri perform at IlluminAqua.

Lil said...

No celebrity sightings to share. As for yearly, a group of friends and I do a huge pie potluck, savory and sweet offerings are put forth and we gorge and gab.

jcp said...

no celebrity sightings to share.

alysap AT yahoo DOT com

traveler said...

I haven't experienced celebrity sightings.

Barbara T. said...

John Stamos tipped his baseball cap and winked when I saw him on the sidewalk in Laguna Beach. My brother had just washed hands next to him in restaurant bathroom.

Jen said...

I once saw Jimmy Johnson, head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, in a little dive bar in Dallas. I was visiting from Michigan and a sophomore in college at the time. Thought that was so cool!!
xo, Jennifer
ingmankidsmom @

Joanne Rock said...

Barbara T, how sweet of him!!! I remember swooning over him back in his General Hospital days, so I would have fainted for a wink :-).

Joanne Rock said...

Jen, I've been researching JJ's life a lot recently since I'm working on a series set in the NFL world. You never know who you'll find in a dive bar!

dstoutholcomb said...

I saw Jane Porter in NJ over the weekend--does that count?

If not, I've had Katie Brown, home maven of various TV shows; and Angelo Surmelis, HGTV, TLC, in my home--long story. But Katie and I appeared in a magazine for that visit, and Angelo and I appeared on HGTV for his visit.


rivereyes said...

Owen Wilson buying beer at 7 Eleven in Boca Raton.
Later I found out his movie Marley & Me was filmed in the area I live.

rivereyes said...

Owen Wilson buying beer at 7 Eleven in Boca Raton.
Later I found out his movie Marley & Me was filmed in the area I live.